After weeks of speculation, Alvaro Fernandez is no longer a part of the Sounders. The 26-year old Fernandez was rumored to depart Seattle for several weeks, and nearing the transfer deadline his departure seemed imminent. The Sounders traded the Uruguayan to the Chicago Fire, in exchange for allocation money. The ex-Sounder DP departing opens up a space for another DP – which has already been filled.
The Sounders announced the signing of German midfielder Christian Tiffert earlier today. This move was also rumored for a few weeks, as general manager Adrian Hanauer expressed interest in Tiffert. The 30-year old Tiffert played for FC Kaiserslaughtern in the last Bundesliga season, and after the club was demoted to the second tier of German soccer it seemed as if Tiffert’s departure was imminent as well.
These two transactions marks something major in the Sounders organization; management actually following their words with action. Change was made, and it will take some time to see what way this change impacts the team. Tiffert will be inserted into a lineup in an attacking midfielder role, which means that he will have to communicate well and develop chemistry with his new teammates in order to be successful.
It seems inevitable that Fernandez will attempt to make the Sounders rethink their decision the next time the Fire and Sounders meet on the pitch. On his good days, Fernandez was the best player on the pitch by far – but on his bad days, you would have thought that the Sounders were playing a man down. The last major attacking player that left the organization was Sebastien Le Toux, and every time he plays against the Sounders he makes his mark with exceptional play. I speak for all Sounders fans when I say that I hope Fernandez doesn’t develop that same habit.
Alvaro’s contributions to the club will be deeply missed as he has shown us how good he really can be, scoring 16 goals with 10 assists since his arrival in 2010. The real question will be if the tradeoff of Tiffert for Fernandez will pay off, which will be hard to determine as the two players play a completely different style.
Tiffert brings with him to Seattle consistency, leadership, and creativity. The Sounders need all of those aspects of the game implemented as soon as possible, so as a fan of the rave green I support the transfer and am looking forward for him to make his debut in the near future.